Quick and Easy Mini Apple Pies for the Novice Baker

While I love to bake, I am not a very experienced baker and do not have as many occasions or as much time to bake as I would like.

This week I am participating in a fundraiser, for which I volunteered to bake. After seeing a 2-Ingredient Mini Apple Pie recipe that Pillsbury posted on Pinterest, I decided to give it a try.

It really was as simple as the instructions implied, which can be found here.

I did make a couple of modifications however. First, I baked the apple pies in paper cupcake cups to avoid them sticking to the metal pan.

I also added about a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract to the icing that came with the cinnamon roll dough and heated it in the microwave for a few seconds prior to putting the icing into a pastry bag and drizzling over the mini apple pies.

I doubled the recipe to make 16 mini pies instead of 8. However, while I doubled the amount of dough, I ended up not needing additional pie filling. I only used one 21-oz can to make all 16 mini pies.

Overall, I thought it was a great and easy-to-follow recipe, not to mention inexpensive and time-saving. The only changes I would make in the future would be to use a pan with bigger “cups” or section out each cinnamon roll pack into more than 8 pieces, as my crust came out a little thick. This is definitely a dessert meant to be served fresh out of the oven. Use caution making the recipe too far in advance, as the crust can become tough.

If you use this recipe or have a great hack to add, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

15-Minute + $15 DIY Autumn Wreath

The previous owner of our home did not invest in exterior improvements within the past decade or so and in the months proceeding our purchase, even the lawn went uncut. As a result, the outside of our house needs a lot more than just maintenance.

Much of the work my fiancĂ© and I have done to the house and much of the budget we established up to this point have focused on the interior — refinishing the floors so we could move in, fixing the leaks in the bathroom walls, and moving the house’s stove from the basement to the kitchen. With Fall among us and several other projects needed to prepare the home for winter, improving the home’s exterior aesthetic will most likely not happen until 2018.

That being said, I find joy in little touches that make the house look lived in and cared for to the outside world. One of the recent projects I completed was to decorate a bit for Fall — pumpkins and mums line the front steps and a budget-friendly handmade wreath hangs on the door.

Below I share instructions for making your own autumn-themed wreath. Not only is the wreath quick to make, it won’t cost more than a few pumpkin spice lattes!

Supplies:

– Wreath

– One bunch of large fabric flowers

– One bunch of small fabric flowers

– Hot Glue Gun and extra glue sticks

On the price of materials: I purchased a 14-inch Ashland wreath from my local Michaels store. Originally, the price was $4.99 but one of the great things about Michaels Craft Store is a coupon is almost always available. With my 25% off coupon, I paid $3.74. Having used my own glue gun, my total cost of materials from Michaels was less than $15.

You’ll notice in the photo, I have ribbon. Should you not have a wreath hanger that fits over your door, you can always use a little ribbon and a nail to hand your wreath. A deep red ribbon like the one shown would look great with the color scheme I used!

I ended up having enough left over flowers that I purchased another Ashland wreath and made a second wreath for my mom.

Step 1: Pull the flowers and leaves off the stems. Heat up your glue gun.

Step 2: Find an arrangement you like. I think this is the most time-consuming part. I like to take a photo of my flowers arranged a few different ways and compare the photos before deciding on the arrangement I will glue down.

Step 3: Glue down the leaves first, then the bigger flowers, and the smaller flowers last.

Step 4: Add extra glue to any loose flowers and remove any hot glue “cobwebs” like those pictured below.

Tips:

Placement of Glue: I tried placing the glue on the wreath first and also placing the glue on the back of the flowers. I thought it was best to put the glue directly on the wreath. It helped me be more accurate in where I wanted to place the flowers and helped them stay better.

Mistakes: Mistakes happen. Whenever I didn’t like the placement of a flower, I gently pulled it off and glued it down again.

Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!

Feel free to comment with any questions you may have or to tag me in your finished photos on instagram (@homesweetgomez). I can’t wait to see them!

The Ultimate Fall Bucket List

Here are the 20 activities that I am most excited about doing this Fall.

Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year. Unfortunately, last year I was unable to enjoy many classic fall activities as I had undergone surgery on my ankle. Therefore, this year I am looking to make up for all I missed out on last October and November. Here’s my ultimate fall bucket list, which I will be checking off on the blog throughout the season.

 

  1. Bake a pie
  2. Make a DIY fall wreath
  3. Try the velvet fashion trend
  4. Go apple picking
  5. Carve pumpkins
  6. Host a fun Halloween for neighborhood kids
  7. Eat maple candy
  8. Go to a farmers market
  9. Go on a hike
  10. Enjoy the fall foliage
  11. Try the metallic beauty trend
  12. Get lost in a corn maze
  13. Visit a winery
  14. Plant for next spring
  15. Read a great book
  16. Make a dinner with buttersquash as an ingredient
  17. See a scary movie
  18. Invest in a comfortable pair of all-weather booties
  19. Visit the beach off-season
  20. Make caramel covered apples

What activities are you most excited about this Autumn? Comment below!